Should I be on LinkedIn?

You need to build your ‘on-line’ profile carefully to ensure that Search firms find you. But with all the social media sites available which one should you be on?

It seems that most weeks we get contacted by another networking site; however the daddy of all Business Networking sites, and the one used by most search firms to find people, is LinkedIn  www.linkedin.com

Whichever media you choose, it really is all about getting your name on-line where it can be ‘found’ by search firms and companies who are recruiting. More & more companies are turning to networking sites and turning away from job boards and media advertisements.

The information below is primarily aimed at LinkedIn users.

How Do Search Firms Use Linked In to find Candidates?

This is two fold: their research team and the Recruitment consultant will be given a brief about what the client is looking for and from this they will construct a Job Profile and a List of Target Companies (the likely companies that the successful candidate will come from).

Job Profile
Like all Job Adverts/Job Profiles - there will be a list of pre-requisites/must haves that the client demands. These will be put into a Keyword People Search

Target Lists
This will typically comprise a list of companies, about 30-50, which will be put into Company Search to find current and past employees

So what do you need to have on your profile to make sure you are 'found'?

On your Profile there are sections you can fill in to detail your experience, interests and specialities;  in order to generate keywords which will help you to be found you should fill in as much of your Profile as you can.

What words should be included in your Profile? The key is think about the job you want and whether there is a pre-requisite that comes up time and time again on job profiles and the experience required. If there is then ensure that this appears on your profile in the wording that is used. Similarly if the job that you do or are looking for is called something else then ensure different job titles are somewhere  in your profile, explaining that you have experience in these areas. If there is particular qualification that is necessary for your job/role, and you have it, then always put it on your profile.

Do not forget that you can modify your Profile at any time.

Groups & Associations
These are also another great tool to aid you in your job search and can vastly expand your connections and can get you linked to people in your sector that may know of openings. Typical groups to look for include Education/ Local Groups/ Recruitment Groups/ Industry Groups/ Position related groups. Many recruiters that work in that particular sector are also in these groups; for example Project Management groups/Water sector groups/ EPC Consultants/Sustainability/Energy & Utilities/Oil & Gas/ Port Engineering – there are thousands to choose from.

Each of the Groups generally has a discussion board and many have vacancy boards.

Expanding your connections
The principle that LinkedIn works on is that the more contacts you have, the more people you can see in your searches, and the more people can see your Profile.

You can be a LION (which stands for LinkedIn Open Networker) meaning that you can accept the invitations that people send you regardless of whether you know them in person. However this has its risks if someone says they don’t know you enough times you can get barred, so pick your strategy.

The more people you have on your network the more people you can see on your search - you can then search for recruiters in your sector/or even HR people that work for companies that are in the sector you want to work in.

Interview Tip
If you know the name of the person you are meeting you can look them up on LinkedIn, getting information on their background and experience.

Should I be on LinkedIn? - download the pdf